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Professor Nicky Welton

Professor Nicky Welton

Professor Nicky Welton
B.Sc.(Sheff.), M.Sc.(U.C.Lond.), Ph.D.(Bristol)

Professor in Statistical and Health Economic Modelling

Area of research

Bayesian multiparameter evidence synthesis and value of information methods

Office 2.01d
Canynge Hall,
39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 3918


My research interests include methodology for evidence synthesis, and use of evidence in decision modelling. I also work on methods for Value of Information calculations that can be used to prioritise and design new research by comparing the expected benefit in the reduction of uncertainty in the optimal policy decision with the cost of a proposed new study. In particular, I work on examples of syntheses that provide the inputs to cost-effectiveness analyses that inform reimbursement decisions for health technologies by organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). I have worked on methods for synthesis of studies informing Markov models parameters, synthesis of evidence on components of complex interventions, bias adjustment in pairwise and network meta-analysis, allowing for uncertainty due to missing data, and combining evidence with heterogeneously reported (but related) outcomes. I have co-authored the NICE Decision Support Unit series of Technical Support Documents on Evidence Synthesis. I am co-lead of the Prioritisation of Research for Cost-Effectiveness theme of the MRC ConDuCT-II Hub for Trial Methodology Research, Associate Editor for the journal Research Synthesis Methods, a member of the editorial board for the journal Medical Decision Making, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, deputy director of the NICE Clinical Guidelines Technical Support Unit, and a member of the NICE Technology Appraisals Committee.


After obtaining my PhD in mathematics from Bristol University (1998) I worked for 4 years as a lecturer in Applied Statistics at the University of the West of England. In 2002 I joined the MRC Health Service Research Collaborations Multi-Parameter Evidence Synthesis research group based at the University of Bristol, and which subsequently transfered to the university. Since that time I have contributed to all of the groups synthesis projects: focusing on applications in health technology assessment, synthesis for bias adjustment, synthesis of inputs to Markov models, and heterogeneously reported outcomes. I currently hols an MRC Methodology Research Fellowship to study methods for evidence synthesis and Expected Value of Information for research prioritisation, and is joint lead (with Prof. Tony Ades) of the theme on this topic in the ConDuCT Hub for Trials Methodology Research. I am deputy director of the NICE Clinical Guidelines Technical Support Unit, based in the school. I contribute to a 5-day course on Evidence Synthesis for Decision Modelling, a 3-day course on Indirect and Mixed Treatment Comparisons, and lead the schools short course on Advanced Meta-Analysis.


  • Multi-parameter evidence synthesis Value of Information Network meta-analysis Bayesian methods


Research Interests: 1. Bayesian statistical methods for combining evidence from different sources, and assessing evidence consistency. Examples include: synthesis of incidence and prevalence data for toxoplasmosis; estimating Markov transition parameters from various data sources that may include different forms of censoring, as well as exact event history data. 2. Comprehensive cost-effectiveness analysis where the inputs to the decision analysis model are the outputs from an evidence synthesis. Examples include: interventions to increase attendance at breast cancer screening; genetic testing to aid choice of pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation. 3. Expected Value of Information methods for research prioritisation and trial design. Examples include: cluster randomised trial for interventions to increase attendance at breast screening; mixed treatment comparison of treatments for bipolar disorders.

  • Bayesian statistics
  • toxoplasmosis
  • breast cancer screening
  • genetic testing
  • smoking
  • cluster randomised trial
  • mixed treatment comparison
  • Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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